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Mr Muscle owner SC Johnson picks up Charterhouse’s Deb Group-Reuters

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Charterhouse is selling skincare business Deb Group to U.S. household products company SC Johnson, the buyout house said on Friday.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Reuters reported last July that Goldman Sachs had been hired to sell Deb in a deal potentially worth up to 650 million pounds ($992 million).

Family-backed SC Johnson’s brands include Mr Muscle and Duck cleaning products. The company founded by a parquet flooring salesman in Wisconsin is now in its fifth generation of family ownership.

Deb Group, which makes dispensers, hand cleansers and skin creams, operates in 18 countries. It was established in Britain in 1941 when it began selling a formula to preserve women’s silk stockings.

A source familiar with the matter said that Charterhouse stands to make at least 2.5 times its investment after the auction process. The deal will bring its ninth fund on course to deliver almost three times money invested from its four sales so far.

Deb’s revenue almost doubled under Charterhouse’s ownership, the source added.

Not all of Charterhouse’s investments have been plain sailing, however. Last year Charterhouse handed control of UK hygiene company PHS and French fashion retailer Vivarte to lenders.

The famously private fund, one of Britain’s oldest, has also been dragged through the courts in a lawsuit brought by former dealmaker Geoffrey Arbuthnott, who said the buyout house owed him millions of pounds.

Charterhouse won the case in May and is now in the early stages of fundraising for a tenth fund. The buyout house is seeking to raise 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), the source said on Friday.